In the past one decade, Online Reputation Management (ORM) has become very crucial for any online or offline business.
Due to the rise of the Internet and Social Media, people now have a platform to put their views and experiences with you and your business.
You might have seen several people sharing their good and bad experiences with some brand’s services and their products.
And because social media is huge, the things or the words getting shared about your business is very critical to your business’s brand value.
Just imagine wrong or negative words about your business getting viral online can cause your business what not.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management (ORM) means taking control of the online conversation about your business.
It is all about monitoring your brand mentions online. Mainly on social media and search media.
Seems simple and easy, but it is not.
Why Online Reputation Management Matters?
Earning a brand name and goodwill from the customers takes a hell lot of time to do. But getting ruined that image is just a matter of some minutes or hours.
There is quite a lot of effort you will have to put in order to achieve and maintain a good online reputation.
Because more than 55.1% people in the world have access to the internet today.
Which simply means every second person around you have access to write, speak, and share experience about your business and service with the half of the world in no time.
That’s the challenge, businesses are facing today.
But some of the businesses are doing extremely good at it. And due to that, they are seeing huge sales growth year after year.
And the businesses not doing good at online reputation management are experiencing very tough time in doing the business.
How Online Reputation Management Effects Business’s Sales?
We have always heard the most effective advertisement for any business is positive “Word of Mouth” advertising.
Have you heard the same?
Yes, I know you do.
Let me tell you then if positive “Word of Mouth” is the most effective advertisement for the business.
Then negative “Word of Mouth” is the most destructive advertising for any business too.
And today, due to Social Media everyone can put their views out there for any product or service.
Don’t believe me, just go on to YouTube type “Product Name + Reviews”. And you will see a hell lot of people sharing their experiences with the product with thousands of their subscribers.
And because the people sharing their reviews are just like you and me their words and reviews about some product influences our purchasing behavior.
Which simply means, Bad reviews will lead to bad sales, and Good reviews will lead to good sales for any product.
Now either you can do online reputation management for yourself or you can hire someone who will take care of your business’s online reputation.
The best choice is to hire professionals to do it for you or build an online reputation management team.
Different Online Reputation Management Services
There are quite a few things you have to take care of in online reputation management. And that’s why online reputation management is divided into quite a few services.
Each service takes care of one segment of the business’s reputation. And all of them very important.
Let’s look at all the online reputation management services in detail one by one.
Improving Ratings and Reviews
Ratings are one of the first things which people look before buying any product. It is the most important thing for any product.
Every e-commerce site shows the ratings of the product given by the people who have used that product.
No one will consider buying a lowly rated product.
If the ratings are good for any product/service then the second thing which is looked is the comment reviews for that product.
Every e-commerce site allows the user to comment and share their experience in form of written words.
There may be a scenario where people are buying your product but are not leaving any rating or review about your product.
Then you can ask them to leave a rating or review of your product.
Because someone who is looking to buy the product goes through these reviews or comment section. In order to explore, the product experience shared by the people using that product.
Therefore, ORM services include strategies and tactics to improve products or services ratings.
First of all, find out why people are leaving low ratings and negative reviews about your product.
If the reason is the quality of the product then focus on improving the product’s quality.
One another thing which you can do to increase the number of reviews you get is to reward those who review your business.
It may be as simple as giving those 10% off coupons on your product.
Dealing with Negative Comments
You must have seen people doing negative comments for any business. Some of them are genuine and some of them are just fake.
Fake comments are meant to damage your brand’s name and value. They can be from your competitors or from your haters.
Negative comments from genuine customers should be considered as complaints and should be addressed on the public platforms.
It increases the brand’s authority in the sight of people.
And the fake comments should be exposed.
Therefore, dealing with negative comments are also a part of Online Reputation Management campaign.
Don’t reply to negative comments with an emotional state of mind. It is not good for you, your business, and your customer.
First of all, thank them for leaving a comment and then you can “Agree to Disagree”. Here you can slowly climb the talk to a more productive discussion.
Another way to respond to negative comments is to “Own up to your mistake”.
Because everyone makes mistakes. If you have done so then simply owning it up will create a whole different image of you in your customer’s sight.
Fixing Google Results
In this service, mainly the focus is to improve the SERP results for the brand’s keyword.
If negative results are showing up for your brand name on the first page of the google. That means need to fix it by burying negative search results.
Here the importance is given to identifying the damaging content for the brand. It may be few articles or blog posts criticizing the brand’s product or service.
To fix these, efforts are made to reach to the blogger or the author of the article to remove the content.
The other way to clean up the SERP is by pushing the bad or the harming content really low on the SERP. Trying to get those results out of the first page.
And once cleaning on the SERP is done, then efforts are made to fill up the SERP with some fresh and positive content about the brand’s product or service.
Forming a good keyword strategy and content marketing strategy are part of these services.
When I say good keyword strategy then that means importance to rank higher is just given to very few important keywords only.
Keywords which will bring more value to the business compared to the other keywords.
If you want to remove negative content from Google search, you need to follow-
You have to do a good keyword research for your business. Then select the best keywords for your business.
Like “your business name + reviews”
And focus to rank for the keywords which are worth ranking on the urgent basis.
You can try to remove negative results showing on the first page by reaching to webmasters and asking them to remove it.
The other way is to create new and fresh business profiles on different platforms about your business and rank those on the first page of the google.
You can also post few articles, press releases on the multiple platforms to suppress the negative results.
Monitoring Brand Mentions
This is very important and lots of businesses fail at this. They sit back and relax until they see negative video related to their brand going viral.
They come to action when it’s too late.
Instead, they should be regularly monitoring their business name or brand name getting mentioned.
This strategy is also called “Proactive reputation management” strategy. Here the ORM team will be actively managing the things being said and shared about you on the social media.
And if anything goes wrong then it could be stopped with the immediate effect. Before it can go viral or become the buzz for the day and harm your brand’s name.
Because today anything can go viral in just a matter of time.
And because there are so many social media networks today that it becomes difficult to track and monitor each and every one of them.
There are many SEO tools which make your task really easy.
Some of the tools, which you can use for getting alerts about your business getting mentioned online are…
Google Alerts, Social Mentions, and Ahrefs.
If you are looking for free one then Google Alerts and Social Mentions are the best choices.
Google alerts are good for search mentions. Which means if any website mentions your brand’s name then you will be notified.
Social mention is good for social media mentions. If someone is tweeting about you or posting about you on social media then you will be notified by this tool.
Social mention can track mentions from 70+ social media networks.
It is very very important to know who is mentioning your brand, where he is mentioning your brand, and for what he is mentioning your brand.
Once you find it out who is talking about you go and talk to them patiently and respectfully.
Repairing the Bad Reputation
All the ORM (Online Reputation Management) services include this service also.
Here the efforts are made to wipe out the bad reputation about your business.
It is the very first step in any “Online Reputation Management” (ORM) campaign.
Because until the bad words and bad things about you are on the internet you can’t do well online.
Suppose you don’t clear the bad things about you and you start publishing good things about your site.
Then the customer will get confused when he will come across your negative content about your site and positive content about the product.
Simply he will move to another business’s product or service.
And that’s why wiping out bad content about your business is the foremost thing in any “Online Reputation Management” campaign.
It is done by creating some strategies and tactics to change the whole look and feel about the business.
A bad reputation can be wiped out by reaching out to your existing and ex-customers and telling them that you have solved the issue and the problem they were facing some time ago with your product.
You can reach to them on Social Media, Google, or YouTube.
The message should be created and should be shared with them in each type of content forms such as Blog post, Graphics, and Videos.
You can ask people who have wrote negative comments about your product or service to remove them or change them.
And even ask them, if they would be interested in writing in new and fresh content about your business’s product or service in exchange of something.
Online Reputation Management is a must for any business today. It doesn’t matter whether you are operating your business online or offline.
Therefore, don’t say I don’t have to worry because I have an offline business. Because your customers are online and they talk about you there.
And they talk about your product or service with their thousands and lakhs of followers.
Therefore, creating a good Online Reputation Management strategy is important to shine your brand’s name in the online world.
There are a lot of online reputation management companies, which are doing pretty well. You can consult with those for ORM services or contact me.